This quote comes from Swiss-American psychiatrist and author Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. She is known for coming up with the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance; and her writing and viewpoints have been recognized worldwide. However, this quote is not about death or grief, the primary focus of her work. Instead, the quote is about human nature; and one can consider its relevance to mental well-being and relationships.
If you’ve ever seen a stained-glass window, you’d observe that it sparkles and shines as sunlight flows through it from outside. But as the sun goes down, its beauty fades into darkness. However, if there’s light inside the room, the stained-glass window is illuminated, revealing even more of its beauty–even though there’s darkness outside.
This illustration forces us to examine our mental well-being as well as our relationships.
When it come to your mental well-being, consider the following :
- Where do you get your light? Where does your joy and happiness come from? Are you solely dependent on light coming from outside (i.e. things that are external and tangible) or from within? What happens when those external/tangible things are gone or diminished?
- How can you nurture a light from within? Are you appreciating the little things, staying connected with God; practicing mindfulness, contentment, and gratitude?
When it comes to your relationships, consider the following:
Usually, when things are going well it’s easy for people to shine and sparkle. But like a stain-glass window, it’s during dark times–moments of challenges and adversity–that we get see people’s true colors…their true beauty. That said:
- How are others showing up for you during those moments when the sun isn’t shining? Are you cultivating genuine relationships with people who are going to be there in good times and bad?
- Likewise, how are you showing up for others during difficult times? Do you?